Damn the opposition Che Guevara is being celebrated in Ireland on the 50th anniversary of his execution in Bolivia that occurred on October 9, 1967. The Irish postal service noted the author of The Motorcycle Diaries as the “quintessential left-wing revolutionary” and a “major figure of the twentieth century.”
The Irish love a party and especially in celebration of one of its own. Who knew – but Argentine-born Guevara had some Irish blood in him. Guevara’s great-great-great-great-grandfather on his father side, Patrick Lynch was born in Galway, Ireland in 1715 and eventually immigrated to Argentina.
Che’s father was Ernesto Guevara Lynch. The stamp’s first day cover carries a quote from Ernesto: “In my son’s veins flowed the blood of the Irish rebels.”
Yes, Guevara was a trained doctor, photographer, and writer but it was his role in the Cuban Revolution as a member of the July 26 Movement alongside Fidel and Raul Castro that he is most remembered for. Hence the problem and opposition to the now-sold out stamp.
The image on the stamp is based on the iconic photo of the Marxist revolutionary taken by Cuban photographer Alberto Korda in 1960. Then Dublin artist Jim Fitzpatrick created the red, white and black rendering of ‘Che’ wearing a beret that can be found on tee-shirts, poster, etc… .
The Irish post office printed 122,000 stamps and is expected to print new stock to accommodate the high demand.
Many Cuban Americans in Miami are incensed and have started a letter-writing campaign to get the Guevara stamp banned. Many Cubans who fled the Cuban Revolution view Guevara as a mass murderer of political prisoners who opposed Castro and his overthrowing of the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship.
Guevara died at age 39 after a failed peasant revolution in Bolivia. The Army amputated his hands to prove the supreme revolutionary was dead. His body was dumped in an unmarked grave so he would not become a martyr to leftist causes. Clearly those efforts failed as Che’s image is considered one of the most iconic of modern times.
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